Thursday, May 3, 2007

Discussing Dylan

On Friday evening, I am making a guest appearance on the radio show of my Discussing Dylan professor, Bob Levinson. Called Deconstructing Dylan, it airs weekly from 7-8 pm on Friday. I have been a faithful student to Levinson’s class for the past two semesters and I suppose his inviting me onto the show is a way of almost thanking me--or at least being a teenager who respects Bob Dylan the way someone growing up in the 1960s did.

Sadly, last night was the last class of DD at The New School and it’s moving across Washington Square Park to NYU. But there will still be a Dylan class taught at The New School next semester; in fact, it’ll be taught by author/professor Greil Marcus and called The Old Weird America: Music as Democratic Speech-from the Commonplace Song to Bob Dylan.

Of course having Greil, a favorite author of mine and one of the seminal voices on Bob Dylan, Pere Ubu and The Band, among others, teaching a course will be fantastic, but I will still miss going to Discussing Dylan every Wednesday night from 8-10 pm.

As I mentioned before, last night was the final class at The New School and the finale song choice was “I Am a Lonesome Hobo” from John Wesley Harding. It goes:

"I am a lonesome hobo
Without family or friends,
Where another man's life might begin,
That's exactly where mine ends.
I have tried my hand at bribery,
Blackmail and deceit,
And I've served time for everything
'Cept beggin' on the street.

Well, once I was rather prosperous,
There was nothing I did lack.
I had fourteen-karat gold in my mouth
And silk upon my back.
But I did not trust my brother,
I carried him to blame,
Which led me to my fatal doom,
To wander off in shame.

Kind ladies and kind gentlemen,
Soon I will be gone,
But let me just warn you all,
Before I do pass on;
Stay free from petty jealousies,
Live by no man's code,
And hold your judgment for yourself
Lest you wind up on this road."

A great end to a great class.

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